Champion sprinter El Grand Senor ($2.10) showed all the speed and determination that has him taken to the top of the tree in greyhound racing to take out a history making Neatline Homes Shepparton Cup final.
After beginning on terms with fellow star sprinter Aston Galilee, the speed machine managed to cross to the lead at the first turn and take control of the race on the side as Aston Galilee ($4.30) and in form sprinter Mystic Apple ($7.40) gave chase.
Half way up the running El Grand Senor appeared to be under pressure to hold on however as all champions do he found a second wind and the star qualities prevailed to claim not only the $40,000 first prize but also a $50,000 bonus for winning his third provincial cup in the year.
El Grand Senor now has amassed $580,000 in prizemoney and is only $30,000 short of the Australian prize money record and should Carolyn Jones decide to continue to race her pride and joy then it is only a matter of time before he adds the title of highest stakes earner to his many achievements.
Mystic Apple and Aston Galilee were both game in defeat and showed their own star qualities by putting El Grand Senor to the test and both place getters will no doubt go on to contest many more feature event finals in the future.
Time for the final was 25.26 after splits of 6.54 (4) and 11.20.After the placed runners the field finished in the following order 4th Bremerton Bale ($29.20), 5th Mint Power ($28.00), 6th Oh Watta Night ($4.80) 7th Marmion ($23.40) and Gula Bale ($35.30).
El Grand Senor is a Black dog whelped April 2008 by Where’s Pedro from Elgrando Gold (Elgrando x Sweet Liberty). He is raced trained and was bred by Carolyn Jones at Sale in Victoria. He has now won 35 races and been placed on five occasions from his 43 starts.
The Shepparton Cup first prize of $40,000 and the GRV $50,000 bonus for winning three country cups in the one year brings El Grand Senor’s overall prizemoney to $581,335. His tally moving him to the second highest stake earner in history.
On a monster night of racing NSW mentor Anthony Azzopardi took out the Ron Nestor Memorial with Fancy Will. Shepparton Greyhound Racing Club commemorate the passing of greyhound figure Ron Nestor by honouring his memory with the special event after his passing in March 2006 – Nestor was one of few people who had never missed a Shepparton Cup Final and the Committee at the time decided to make sure that spirit remains forever for a true gentleman of the sport.
The other features were won by Indigo Flash who led throughout for trainer Scott Holmes to take out the Quest Shepparton President’s Trophy final, the Joe Borg trained Shanlyn Royal was victorious in the Goulburn Valley Sprint Final and Jinderaville took out the Topcat Video Productions Dash For Cash for Nathalia trainer Michael Ellis.
The Shepparton Cup has always been a well sought after country cup and a one time a very important lead up race for the Melbourne Cup. It has been won by some brilliant greyhounds over the years none better than Hall of Famer and local superstar Highly Blessed.
Other Melbourne Cup winners included Master Giant and Kantarn Bale. While like Highly Blessed, Bahama Image went on to win an Easter Egg. The race was run over the 440 metres at the old Shepparton Showgrounds until its closure in 2004.
Shepparton Cup Honour Roll
1973 Garner Bin, 1974 Morning Glow, 1975 Tivashley, 1976 Marungi Boy, 1977 Near History, 1978 Relle Louise, 1979 Mannerism, 1980 Proven Bold, 1981 First Question, 1982 Golden Impulse, 1983 Blue Echo, 1984 Blitzem Bill, 1985 Thorgil Magic, 1986 Thorgil Magic, 1987 Nan’s Pal, 1988 Fantasy Boy, 1989 Pure Talent, 1990 Highly Blessed, 1991 Bomber Gleeson, 1992 Master Giant, 1993 Head Honcho, 1994 Thorgil Tex, 1995 Hanson Diamond, 1996 Bahama Image, 1997 World Title, 1998 Ashigga, 1999 Star Of Mine, 2000 Kantarn Bale, 2001 Salong Bale, 2002 Knockabout Wok, 2003 Puzzle Prize, 2004 Whisky Assassin, 2005 not run, 2006 Slater, 2007 Overflow Breaker, 2008 Hanify’s Impact, 2009 Gardam Prince and 2010 Din’s Son.